Back in June, we took the boys to the Petersen Rock Garden in Redmond. I'd been there as a kid and again as an adult, but it'd been a very long time and the youngest two had never seen the place at all. They've closed and reopened a number of times over the years and I'm afraid that what was once a really neat attraction may not be with us much longer.
You already know that I love dollhouses and tiny houses of all kinds, so this place is right up my alley. One man, Rasmus Petersen, built it himself with petrified wood, agates, obsidian, and other rocks he collected in the area around his ranch. He started in 1935 and was still adding to the displays until his death in 1952.
I love old tourist traps and this one is practically in our own backyard. One of the travel sites I visited to confirm that they were still open said that admission is by donation, but that wasn't the case. There's a drop box for admission fees and the signs make it very clear that they expect you to pay. We saw a handful of employees working on the landscaping and I kind of got the impression that we weren't welcome. Signs warn you to stay on the path...but it's not too clear what is and isn't path.
Despite the disrepair and unwelcoming atmosphere, I still kind of love the place. My husband told me not to recommend it to you guys, but if you like old roadside attractions and keep your expectations kind of low, it's a one of a kind place that's a lot of fun to wander through.
If you're interested in finding out more about the history and current state of the garden, there's a lot of information on Friends of Petersen Rock Gardens over on facebook.